4 tips To Help You Gain More Control and Start to Feel Better.

A couple of years ago, in my job as a sex therapist, I worked with a client who was struggling with out-of-control sexual behavior.

This man, whom I’ll call Michael, was in his mid-thirties and was suffering from low self-esteem, depression, and a negative body schema. He also could not affirm his needs and express his feelings with others.

In my mind, there was no doubt that Michael was seriously struggling, emotionally, and with forming relationships.

His loneliness was deep. He longed for comfort, but he was too nervous to make friends, much less to date someone.

To pass the time and feel satisfied, Michael spent many hours watching porn, sometimes up to 8 hours a day looking for the perfect video, and masturbating.

When he was watching adult porn, he described feeling loved and recognized. But then he felt shame and guilt and wondered what was wrong with him.

Although the symptoms of problematic sexual behavior vary and affect people in a unique way, if you are struggling with managing out of control sexual behavior, these 4 tips could help you to start to feel better:

1. Know your triggers: Are there certain situations, places, things, feelings, or being around certain people that lead you to watching excessive porn?

2. Understand your pattern: Take the time to explore the events that occurred before you went online to watch pornography, your thoughts as you watched that content, and your feelings afterwards. Paying attention to your body is important as well in order to increase your awareness around this behavior.

3. Seek support: Identify a specialized therapist who understands the components of out-of-control sexual behavior, with whom you can go deeper and get help with exploring your sex history and creating other types of coping.

4. Develop a positive cycle: Make a list of activities that you can engage in where you feel good about yourself, and that do not make you feel ashamed afterwards.

Excessive use of pornography or masturbation does not have to control your life. It is possible to learn new ways to manage your stress, your relationship conflicts, and your feelings and begin to relate to your sexuality in a healthier way.

This article was originally published on March 16, 2017 in Spanish in El Diario NY newspaper. Here is a link to the Spanish version. https://eldiariony.com/2017/03/16/ver-demasiado-porno-como-manejarlo/